Randy Velker: Tariffs would cloud solar’s future
You don’t need a solar-powered crystal ball to know what these huge tariffs would mean for the industry. China would retaliate against American-made solar products. Prices would rise on solar components of all kinds, whether manufactured in the U.S., China or other countries. Sales of solar energy systems would decline. Businesses would downsize. Workers would lose their jobs.
Why would new tariffs mean less growth? Because the solar industry relies on steadily falling prices. With the price of solar energy falling by about 30 percent over the past year, the U.S. solar industry added some 7,000 new jobs, for a total of more than 100,000 employees. That’s a growth rate of about 6.8 percent — almost 10 times as much as the meager 0.7 percent employment growth rate in the entire economy. Over the year ahead, the solar industry is expected to add another 24,000 jobs.